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What to do when happy hour turns sour

There are dozens of articles online discussing the benefits of happy hour. Happy hour, usually an hour or longer during the day when alcoholic drinks are served at reduced rates at bars and restaurants, is a good way to build customer satisfaction. Employers might encourage their employees to go to happy hour with clients or to get to know each other during happy hour, too.

While happy hour is an integral way to bring in sales and revenue for many restaurants and bars, it has a downside. People who drink at happy hour and then drive home are at an increased risk of getting DUIs.

Even a single drink could land you in trouble with the law

While it’s less likely to happen, did you know that a single alcoholic drink could get you in trouble with the law? If you have had anything to drink and appear to be impaired or intoxicated, an officer may pull you over and accuse you of a DUI. Even if your blood alcohol concentration is below .08%, there is a risk that you could get a DUI. Why? Other impairing substances, like allergy medications or drugs, may not appear on a Breathalyzer test. If you’re impaired behind the wheel for any reason, you can face a DUI.

Drinking? Make a plan for a safe drive home

That’s why you should be cautious if you plan to go to happy hour with friends or colleagues. If you are planning to drink, you should:

  • Determine who will be the sober driver for the group
  • Call a cab or ride-sharing service to get home
  • Wait long enough for the alcohol to leave your body before driving
  • Eat with any alcoholic drinks you have
  • Watch out for impaired friends and colleagues. If they’re acting drunk, take steps to get them home safely

Happy hour is supposed to be fun, but a DUI will quickly turn your afternoon sour. If you’re accused of a DUI, you need to mount a strong defense against the charges. Doing so will help you protect against the allegations and fight to keep your driving privileges and other rights.